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Calgunners in Service This forum is a place for our active duty and deployed members to share, request and have a bit of home where ever they are.

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  #1  
Old 06-11-2014, 4:21 PM
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Default Re-enlistment

Well, I'm at that point in my career and I'm honestly torn on which direction to go. If I stay in, I realistically push my school and then my career further on down the road but I continue working in a job that I enjoy. OTOH, I get out, go to school, get a career (possibly making more money), and I don't have to work in an institution that values how fast you can run over your work ethic.

I'm all for physical fitness, but in a technical field (Air wing) I feel that your work ethic and competency should have a higher priority than physical fitness.

Anyone else face this dilemma? Did you get out and regret it? Hoping to get some insight from those who have hit their 4 or 5 year mark and made that choice.

Btw, I'm in a fast filling MOS and I've been in for just shy of 4 years. I'm also FY 15 so I have some time before an EAS but not much time before I need to choose.
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2014, 4:24 PM
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Stay in and finish your 20
U still can find job after 20
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2014, 4:37 PM
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Def, stay in. The job market for a veteran is still rough. It gets noticed, but employers are really looking for a MOS that translates into the civilian sector depending on what your career goals are.

Some of them aren't impressed. You said air wing, look into contractors that work on the same equipment you do now. Only difference is the pay


I see your in San Diego along with me. San Diego, is heavily saturated with veterans so there is going to be competition if you ETS. I'd try to land a job before you ETS or go reserves and still try and have a shoe in.
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Old 06-11-2014, 4:45 PM
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Stay in. I make more now, but I regret not doing my 20. I would be 6 away from that. And in my industry of employment, I could easily start at 42, when I would have retired.

Think about it. Most of the work force out there has just started over at a new company or just reached senior management by the time their 42 - and most likely in a company that does 401K's and not a pension. You would have a pension at that age and can have the liberty of doing what you want and still being able to retire.

I envy my father:
22 years Air force
20 years Northrup Gruman

He joined when he was 18 and he's only 68, young and healthy.
He has two pensions so now he kayaks everyday and lives life with no worries.
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Old 06-11-2014, 5:48 PM
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Step grandson 3.5 yrs. in the Corps (E-4), puts in for early discharge so he can go to college. Other than the Corps he has not worked a day in his life, enlisted just out of HS. He has no idea of the job market on the outside.

Tried talking his grandma into convincing him to ship over, he will miss out on a retirement check down the road. He and I don't talk ( that's a long story).

Every time he talks to his grandma it's a different story on what he's going to study. He changes his mind more than I change my underwear!

As an E-4 he makes $1600 + a month and splits an off site house with four others, instead of living on base for free.

As an E-4 I made $124 a month (with sea pay) and lived aboard my ship. I guess it's a different time.
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Old 06-11-2014, 5:56 PM
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On the flip side, theres no guarantee a military pension will still exist in the years to come.
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2014, 6:04 PM
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Originally Posted by GardoneVT View Post
On the flip side, theres no guarantee a military pension will still exist in the years to come.
You might be right, just like Social Security is supposed to run out. If SC runs out, then I think there will be blood in the streets.
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Old 06-11-2014, 6:11 PM
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Its a tough decision believe me i know. Job market sucks right now and for the foreseeable future. If you talk to most guys they say they wish they would've stayed in. I'm glad I got out but miss alot of it too.

Try reenlisting in a different mos or better yet have them send you to school to become an officer. Your USMC correct? Do they still have the MECEP program? If you qualify they pay you e5 pay to go to civilian college and then you become an officer. I was gonna do that but got out instead.

I would've retired at 37 with full benefits. I couldve had another career and been double dipping. Instead I'm 39 and have 20 more years to go and not much medical when I get there. Good luck in whatever you decide.
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2014, 6:12 PM
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I got out and later regretted it. ETS with caution!
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2014, 6:16 PM
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I got out and regret it. I got a great job but it's not the same as when I was in. I was a AT and now work in hospitals on sterilization equipment. The only reason why I got out was I didn't want to miss out on watching my kids grow up. If you do get out start going to Orion international job fairs a few months before you separate. I had a job guarantee about a month before I got out.
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2014, 6:29 PM
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stay in AND go to school..

don't be a complacent coaster..

earn, learn, and promote!

senior enlisted, warrants, ldo, ocs, etc. are all good income levels and benefits.. make 20 mark or better and lock in decent retirement pay for life while you seek your second career..

I took an alternate route but locked in 20 years of mixed service.. fleet>seabees>coastal warefare.. damn glad I did but I wish I hadn't wasted so many years passed out under pool tables in dive bars.. none the less, I've still been more places than most people can name and done things they can't show on cable tv.. wouldn't trade one day of it for anything..

unless you've got something airtight locked in at sep time, I recommend strongly consider working harder on your career.. and if the wing nuts aren't blowing up your skirt, cross deck into another branch or mos that excites you..

good luck!
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Old 06-11-2014, 7:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Killer Bee View Post
stay in AND go to school..
I've been trying to do this my whole enlistment. I keep getting denied TA by my command because I'm too valuable to the workcenter to dedicate my time elsewhere. I've heard that with just about everything my whole career. Leads into why I never got a deployment.

"Who wants to go to (Fill in the blank)?"

Me: "I do! I'm fully qualified and want to go!"

SNCO/NCO: "Can't send you. You're my most qualified Marine. LCpl Schmuckatelli, you're going instead"

I quit counting at 5.
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2014, 7:53 PM
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Stay in bro. I did 8 yrs active all in the infantry....got flagged for recruiter, when i wanted combat instructor....i couldnt lie to myself and let fat kids who play call of duty all day eatting cheetos into my beloved Corps. So i got out a little over a year and hate it....i know i would of been a damn good combat instructor, but gotten lazy and missed my chance...

STAY IN!!!
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2014, 7:55 PM
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I wanted to go embassy duty and they kept telling me they needed me and try later. It's one of the reasons I got out. Re enlistment in another mos and they can't say crap because you'll most likely be changing duty stations anyway. Keep fighting for what u want
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2014, 7:55 PM
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I appreciate the motivation all. Much needed shot in the arm I'm thinking
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  #16  
Old 06-11-2014, 8:40 PM
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Stay in !
I did 22 years and I wish I never got out ......
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2014, 9:03 PM
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Look into CLEP and DANTES exams. I wish someone would have told me about them when I was in.

Extend your service until its convenient for you. I'm not talking re-enlist for years. Extend in short increments for opportunities or to line up getting out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pterrell View Post
I've been trying to do this my whole enlistment. I keep getting denied TA by my command because I'm too valuable to the workcenter to dedicate my time elsewhere. I've heard that with just about everything my whole career. Leads into why I never got a deployment.

"Who wants to go to (Fill in the blank)?"

Me: "I do! I'm fully qualified and want to go!"

SNCO/NCO: "Can't send you. You're my most qualified Marine. LCpl Schmuckatelli, you're going instead"

I quit counting at 5.
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2014, 9:06 PM
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Originally Posted by pterrell View Post
Well, I'm at that point in my career and I'm honestly torn on which direction to go. If I stay in, I realistically push my school and then my career further on down the road but I continue working in a job that I enjoy. OTOH, I get out, go to school, get a career (possibly making more money), and I don't have to work in an institution that values how fast you can run over your work ethic.

I'm all for physical fitness, but in a technical field (Air wing) I feel that your work ethic and competency should have a higher priority than physical fitness.

Anyone else face this dilemma? Did you get out and regret it? Hoping to get some insight from those who have hit their 4 or 5 year mark and made that choice.

Btw, I'm in a fast filling MOS and I've been in for just shy of 4 years. I'm also FY 15 so I have some time before an EAS but not much time before I need to choose.
I was in the wing to, 3rd MAW to be exact. I did 5 years, one year was all school.

I got out, found a job that paid me twice as much, I am going to school full time and getting BAH. Life is good. No need to worry about some stupid regs and basic freedoms anymore.

I love my time in the Corps, but getting out was totally worth it, although I do miss hanging out with my buddies in Afghan and Iraq. That is all I miss.
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  #19  
Old 06-11-2014, 9:48 PM
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I have wished many times that I would have stayed in. Joined 10 days after my 17th birthday. Got my discharge a few days before my 22nd birthday. Would have had my retirement at 37......then on to a second career.

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Old 06-12-2014, 8:31 PM
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I have wished many times that I would have stayed in. Joined 10 days after my 17th birthday. Got my discharge a few days before my 22nd birthday. Would have had my retirement at 37......then on to a second career.

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True for many of us I think. The problem IMO is that staying in long term takes a big toll on family. I don't think I have to explain what I'm talking about in this sub forum.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:00 PM
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Stay in. You won't be little fish forever. Stay motivated and prove you're NO QUITTER!
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:37 PM
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You may want to consider transitioning to the Army National Guard or Army Reserve. It's easier than you may think.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by GardoneVT View Post
On the flip side, theres no guarantee a military pension will still exist in the years to come.
That would be one way to stop the wars. If there were no pension, I'd be out quick. No reason to spend so much time away from my family, if not for the financial stability of a future pension. I bet there are a whole lot more that feel that way too. Gonna be hard to screw around in the Mid East when there's like 12 dudes combined left in the Services.
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Old 06-22-2014, 1:06 PM
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Originally Posted by pterrell View Post
Well, I'm at that point in my career and I'm honestly torn on which direction to go. If I stay in, I realistically push my school and then my career further on down the road but I continue working in a job that I enjoy. OTOH, I get out, go to school, get a career (possibly making more money), and I don't have to work in an institution that values how fast you can run over your work ethic.

I'm all for physical fitness, but in a technical field (Air wing) I feel that your work ethic and competency should have a higher priority than physical fitness.

Anyone else face this dilemma? Did you get out and regret it? Hoping to get some insight from those who have hit their 4 or 5 year mark and made that choice.

Btw, I'm in a fast filling MOS and I've been in for just shy of 4 years. I'm also FY 15 so I have some time before an EAS but not much time before I need to choose.
I'm kind of surprised to hear you bring up fitness as a reason to get out. I think you ought to reconsider that... if you keep fitness a priority, you're probably going to live a longer and more fulfilling life, regardless of what you do with your careers.

My advice in order would be to:

1) Stay in if you can. The pension, along with the other benefits, are worth the initial sacrifice.
2) If you can't do that, go reserves. You'll still be affiliated, and possibly be able to go active again if you decide to later. You can make the service work for you too, with regard to training up for other things.
3) Also, regardless of the first two, talk to your career councilor.
4) One last thing... You also may be able to cross rate into another job, if you think it may be more aligned with what you want to do later.
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Old 06-22-2014, 1:16 PM
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Stay in. If it's not one thing it's another in the civilian world. The grass is not greener on the other side
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Old 06-22-2014, 3:40 PM
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Stay in. If it's not one thing it's another in the civilian world. The grass is not greener on the other side
It's actually the exact same thing. Nonsense in uniform or nonsense without.

The bar however can be so much lower in the military for the same level of income.
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Old 06-24-2014, 9:14 PM
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Did 10yrs in USN wish I would have stayed.
My wife is set to retire in <3 and I envy her.

On a side note Post 9/11 helps a lot and any disability goes along way!

I'm now finishing up my BA in CJ

Have you thought about Officer programs? O1E pay is pretty nice

Good luck!
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  #28  
Old 06-25-2014, 9:47 AM
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Get out. Go to school.

Or join the Reserves.

Missing out on an excellent education (worth more than any years of service), kids & a well paying civilian job is not worth it IMHO.

YMMV (if you have a kickass job, then stay in the military).
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:35 PM
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I'm with NiteQwill in that you should get out. My only caveat is that you have to have a plan. If you don't have a concrete plan and the motivation/dedication to make it happen then stay in.

I spent 6 years in the Navy, 4 1/2 years on a ship and I was very determine when I left to never go back. I went to school full time (16+ units a quarter) and worked full time to get my degree. I was very motivated to get into the top firms when I got out and I did. From there, my career has gone nothing but up and I'm in a profession that it is easy to get a job.

I'm now making a heck of lot more money, enjoy what I do, have a very stable home life in which I don't miss critical life events like I did in the Navy, and have the freedom to do what I like and please. I also had and continue to have faith in my skills and abilities to not rely on a pension to keep me in a place I'm not satisfied with.

tl:dr
Get out
Have a plan
Be motivated
Have faith in yourself
Enjoy life
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Old 06-29-2014, 5:26 AM
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Originally Posted by aacx22 View Post
I'm kind of surprised to hear you bring up fitness as a reason to get out.
Fitness itself isn't the reason to get out. It's the fact that the emphasis on passing a pft over your proficiency in a technical job makes it so that the ones who don't care about their job but spend all day making themselves look better for promotion, doesn't help to accomplish the mission of the squadron. Maybe I'm just whining but that's my impression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baffomet View Post
I'm with NiteQwill in that you should get out. My only caveat is that you have to have a plan. If you don't have a concrete plan and the motivation/dedication to make it happen then stay in.

I spent 6 years in the Navy, 4 1/2 years on a ship and I was very determine when I left to never go back. I went to school full time (16+ units a quarter) and worked full time to get my degree. I was very motivated to get into the top firms when I got out and I did. From there, my career has gone nothing but up and I'm in a profession that it is easy to get a job.

I'm now making a heck of lot more money, enjoy what I do, have a very stable home life in which I don't miss critical life events like I did in the Navy, and have the freedom to do what I like and please. I also had and continue to have faith in my skills and abilities to not rely on a pension to keep me in a place I'm not satisfied with.

tl:dr
Get out
Have a plan
Be motivated
Have faith in yourself
Enjoy life
I definitely have a plan if my package gets denied/I turn down orders. I'll be going to school up in Washington. The one thing I'm not sure of, and I guess this comes from having not gone to college, is how you find out who those top firms are. I'm looking at mechanical engineering for example. Boeing, in Washington anyway, is an obvious choice for jobs. How do I figure out what other great corporations need mechanical engineers?
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  #31  
Old 06-29-2014, 8:24 AM
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Originally Posted by pterrell View Post
Fitness itself isn't the reason to get out. It's the fact that the emphasis on passing a pft over your proficiency in a technical job makes it so that the ones who don't care about their job but spend all day making themselves look better for promotion, doesn't help to accomplish the mission of the squadron. Maybe I'm just whining but that's my impression.



I definitely have a plan if my package gets denied/I turn down orders. I'll be going to school up in Washington. The one thing I'm not sure of, and I guess this comes from having not gone to college, is how you find out who those top firms are. I'm looking at mechanical engineering for example. Boeing, in Washington anyway, is an obvious choice for jobs. How do I figure out what other great corporations need mechanical engineers?
Just like any other field: networking. Join an association or club. Or attend a job fair. Send emails. Etc. That's how it's always been done.

Trust me, it will all come to you when you start school and start taking your upper division classes.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:32 AM
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What is on offer for you to re-enlist? I know it's not all about that if you enjoy what you are doing but it is something you need to consider.

I was also in Air Wing in a technical field and decided to get out after 5 years. I had signed up planning on doing 20 yrs but quickly realized I was in a slow promoting field and could make A LOT more money in my field (computer tech) in the civilian world. When they offered me no re-enlistment bonus that sealed the deal.

Do you work with civilian contractors? I had a few buddies who lined up jobs with the civilian contractors they had been working with when time came to re-up. They were pretty much doing the exact same job but making bank.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:15 PM
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I just hit my 9yr mark in the Marine Corps. I have had quite a few guys have this exact conversation with me concerning their futures. The #1 thing I have told all of my Marines to ask themselves, and I will task you with doing the same. Do you still enjoy what you do? If the answer is yes, then consider yourself lucky because you are getting paid to do something you enjoy. If you would get more enjoyment by getting out and doing the school thing then it may be your time to EAS. Whatever your decision is just remember this "Don't let go of one rope, before you grab a hold of another"

Semper Fi
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Old 07-16-2014, 6:57 PM
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Always heard I could get a job when I got out after my 20. They trained me to be a plumber. I was told I could walk into journeyman plumber by the union by the union at $35 an hour no problem. There's a problem my back, my shoulder, and my knees. I put in 20 and the Navy took 40 out of me. Had I got out at my first enlistment I'd be a master plumber by now. I still get a check every month, but not sure where I'd be had I left.
It's a question you have to ask yourself.
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  #35  
Old 07-16-2014, 7:11 PM
Anthracis Anthracis is offline
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Probably without a pension. And in just as much pain as you are now...granted the check may be a bit bigger. I'd rather have the bennies. No?
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  #36  
Old 07-16-2014, 8:04 PM
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Killer Bee Killer Bee is offline
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^^ lol.. you could be cleaning my drains with Jose or Bubba for $99..

you think master plumbers on the outside don't ache?!

I know one thing, my body was rode hard for twenty years in the Bees and NCW but I was in better shape then and now over 5 years after retirement than 90% of my peers..

I too am a journeyman in my trade.. but I rose high enough in the ranks to lead and supervise. now, in my civi job, I supervise my trade with a six figure base salary.. and for all the trials of active duty, deployments, etc., I could do this job standing on my head..

it's all about how you apply yourself.. YOU are the only one in charge of your career..

ymmv
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  #37  
Old 07-20-2014, 9:16 AM
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FMFdevildoc FMFdevildoc is offline
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I advise all my Friends to stay in, whether reserve/guard or EAS from active duty. I've given 11yrs total / combined and it's been worth every moment.
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  #38  
Old 07-28-2014, 2:36 PM
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Punisher Punisher is offline
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pterrell – Plan for getting out at least 1 year from your EAS. There are Marine For Life reps in Seattle whose job is to help you transition. Create a linkedin account and join the Seattle Marine For Life Group. I'm not sure if they know the hiring manager at Boeing, but they do know the veterans hiring managers at Microsoft and Alaska Airlines. They can tell you exactly what employers in that area are looking for. You need to use your Active time to set yourself up, so when you get out you're rocking and rolling (ie: Bachelors Degree, A&P license, etc). You have to be careful, military experience does not translate to the civilian world very well. You need to do everything you can while you’re in to set yourself up when you transition out, no excuses. If TA doesn’t get approved, figure something else out!

All these Marines think they'll get out, go to school and just chill out, while collecting $4k per month between unemployment and GI Bill; but the grass isn’t greener. You may be making $4k per month, but it's temporary and you’re really 4 years behind your fellow students, who consider you an old man because they're mostly teenagers that you can't relate to. And when no employer recognizes your rank or military experience, you now have to pay for everything (food, housing, medical, dental, etc) and there’s no support; no one pushing you to run harder, work harder, get quals, get promoted…it sucks. You’re on your own and you’re 4 years behind your peers in school. It's a crap situation to be in, that you can avoid.

So, before you get out; you need to collect as many degrees and certificates and licenses as you can. Go to the education office on base, pick a bachelors degree and school, get an Ed plan so you don’t take unnecessary classes, then get on it; take as many CLEP tests as you can, take 8 week courses, just knock it out. Get your A&P license too! While you’re Active, you can have all your hours documented, and take the test. You may not want to be an A&P, but it’ll be worth a higher salary in the future if you ever have to go work on Aircraft again.

So, if you haven’t set yourself up for success with an A&P and a Bachelors Degree, don’t get out. Go transition to the V22, so that when you get out you can still earn drill pay at VMM-764 (because even in the IRR, you can get promoted and retire after 20 sat years, though you won’t get free medical and pension until you’re 59.5~). And that GI Bill you can transfer to your wife or kids some day, or use for your Master’s degree.
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Last edited by Punisher; 07-28-2014 at 2:39 PM..
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  #39  
Old 08-02-2014, 10:53 AM
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geoint geoint is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downdiver2 View Post
Stay in. I make more now, but I regret not doing my 20. I would be 6 away from that. And in my industry of employment, I could easily start at 42, when I would have retired.

Think about it. Most of the work force out there has just started over at a new company or just reached senior management by the time their 42 - and most likely in a company that does 401K's and not a pension. You would have a pension at that age and can have the liberty of doing what you want and still being able to retire.

I envy my father:
22 years Air force
20 years Northrup Gruman

He joined when he was 18 and he's only 68, young and healthy.
He has two pensions so now he kayaks everyday and lives life with no worries.

Lol you assume military pensions are still going to exist in the future. Democrats only have so much money to throw away and teenage kids from central america need that money more than us vets
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  #40  
Old 08-02-2014, 1:03 PM
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SteveS SteveS is offline
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I did 10 years USN, E6 (FTG-1, that dates me), 3 westpacs (2 to VN, 1 to SW Asia), 2 years forward deployed to the Med (72-74, got caught in the Arab/Israeli war in 73).
2 WW2 Tin Cans, 1 Frigate, and 3 years on a Patrol Gunboat.

I was tired of being gone, tired of being underweigh, tired of being poor, and my kids didn't know who I was...

Lined up a guaranteed job, tracking Satellites for the Air Force as a contractor, still at it 36 years later.

BTW, doubled my GI pay in the first year, tripled after year 2, Lots of overtime!

One of my biggest nightmares is dreaming I had to go back in the service!

YMMV...
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